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Chapter 6 - Solid and Hazardous Waste Management

Solid Waste Management

In 1999, the Indian solid waste management market was estimated at $411 million.

Rapid population growth and urbanization during the past three decades has produced a number of environmental problems. One problem that has been given limited attention is the management of municipal solid waste from both domestic and industrial sources. The problem of disposal of municipal solid waste in most towns and cities is acute, as the development of disposal facilities has not kept pace with the generation of wastes. Landfilling or open-ground disposal continues to be the most accepted practice for the disposal of solid wastes. In addition to the obnoxious odor, widespread land and air pollution have been the key environmental concerns.

Management of solid waste in larger cities involves greater effort and has become a potential candidate for municipal solid waste management market opportunities. The 1991 census identified 23 metropolitan cities having a population of more than one million. (That number is expected to increase to 40 by 2001). About 32.5 percent of the total urban population (262 million in 1997) live in the 23 metropolitan cities. These cities represent promising locations for municipal solid waste management markets in India. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimates place the total quantity of municipal solid waste generation in these 23 cities at 41,456 tons per day in 1995, amounting to an average 300 to 500 grams of solid wastes per capita per day. Total solid waste generation may surpass 50,000 tons per day by 2001 in metropolitan cities.

The generation of municipal solid waste in India by source is as follows:

This section analyzes business opportunities in the residential municipal and industrial/commercial solid waste sectors. Business opportunities in the hospital waste sector are discussed separately later in this chapter.

The recyclable content of urban municipal solid waste ranges from 13 percent to 20 percent. Material that can be converted into compost constitutes about 80 percent to 85 percent.

Market Overview

Solid waste management typically includes collection, transportation, processing, and disposal of municipal solid waste. In India, municipalities/civic authorities are traditionally responsible for providing these services. The municipal solid waste market in India is still in its infancy. The primary reasons for underdevelopment of the municipal solid waste market include the lack of legislation in this area and inadequate policy reforms to address user charges and privatization. Acute deficiencies have put pressure on government and municipal authorities, however, to devote increased attention to this issue. As a result of these efforts, the municipal solid waste market is set to produce modest increases in revenues of firms operating in this area in the short to medium term. The following summarizes some of these efforts.

One main effort is the enforcement of the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1999. India’s government is considering making municipal/civic authorities responsible for proper management of municipal solid waste. The intent of the government in addressing municipal solid waste management is visible from the notification of draft Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1999. The key requirements of these rules and their linkage to the municipal solid waste market are listed in Table 6.2.

Also in its efforts to devote attention to municipal solid waste management, India’s government has instituted policy reforms and has developed a municipal bond market. As mentioned earlier, municipalities are primarily responsible for providing municipal solid waste management services. The lack of user charges and the poor state of the financial conditions of most municipalities have meant very limited private sector participation (mainly in the transportation of municipal solid waste service area). Acute fiscal deficits and growing demand have produced increased acceptance of privatization of municipal services. A number of progressive municipalities are taking steps to forge public-private sector partnerships as a more acceptable form of privatization. Municipalities and infrastructure agencies are also raising resources directly from the market. The Indian government is also considering a number of reforms to facilitate issuance of municipal bonds to fund urban infrastructure upgrades. These reforms include tax exemption and tax credits on municipal bonds (the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment is preparing guidelines for the issuance of tax free municipal bonds for 2 billion rupees or $500 million). Several municipal corporations (Ahmedabad, $23 million; Bangalore $30 million) have raised sizeable amounts through private placement of municipal bonds. The municipal and water authorities exhibit their motivation to access the debt market by their higher credit rating. The municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Greater Mumbai, Pune, and Vijayawada and the Kerala Water Authority have second credit ratings. The municipal authorities of three towns in Maharashtra (Jalgaon, Nasik, and Aurangabad) plan to tap debt markets by offering 4 billion rupees ($1 billion) in municipal bonds. It is not clear whether these offerings will be backed by guarantees from the state governments. Prospective investors can expect to see the most growth in the urban infrastructure area including water supply, sewerage, and municipal solid waste management.
Table 6.1 - Municipal Solid Waste Generation by City, 1995
CityEstimated Quantity of Solid Waste (ton/day)
Calcutta 3,500
Hyderabad and Secunderabad2,800
Source: Management of Municipal Solid Wastes, Status and Options, Central Pollution Control Board, 1995.

Another effort in municipal solid waste management is increased institutional assistance. To supplement financing for urban development efforts, urban infrastructure financing institutions are showing greater interest. As of September 1999, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Ltd. (HUDCO) (a key Indian government urban infrastructure financing institute) had financed a number of private sector municipal solid waste management projects valued at $66.42 million. These projects are financed on a build-own-operate and build–own-operate-transfer basis.

Estimated Market Size and Growth Prospects

The market for municipal solid waste management is in its infancy. Enactment of the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules (1999), creation of a more investment-friendly environment, and increased financial assistance from urban infrastructure financing institutions will ensure modest future growth in this sector. Higher growth rates may be achieved in the municipal solid waste management sector, subject to the abilities of municipal corporations to raise funds from the debt market.

Collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal have traditionally been the major components of municipal solid waste management systems. Market potential in collection and transportation activities is not relevant to the private sector at this juncture because these activities are largely performed by municipal corporations and are quite disorganized. There is virtually no scope for significant sales to U.S. firms.
Table 6.2 - Key Requirements of the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1999
Key Requirements
Business Opportunity
Enforcement Institutions
House-to-house collection of municipal solid wasteDemand for collection, storage, transportation, processing and sanitary landfill facilities per prescribed regulations, and feasibility studies for municipal solid waste management for local governments. Appropriate enforcing authorities to be identified for enforcement of these rules once implemented. State Pollution Control Boards/State Pollution Control Committees may be designated the enforcement authorities for these rules.
Establishment and maintenance of proper storage facilities
Special vehicles for transporting municipal solid waste
Processing facilities to reduce the burden on landfills. (If waste generation is less than 500 tons per day in a city or town, the municipality may prefer composting/any other appropriate biological method. If it is more than 500 tons per day, municipalities may adopt a combination of processing technologies.)
Sanitary landfills designed in accordance with prescribed regulations.
Source: EQMS India Pvt., Ltd.

The 1999 market potential for municipal solid waste management (excluding collection, transportation, storage, and segregation facilities) is estimated to be approximately $95 million, which takes into account the quantity of waste generation in 23 metropolitan cities and the current price levels for composting/bioconversion plants. The market size, based on revenues of Indian municipal solid waste firms, was estimated at $20 million in Indian fiscal year 1997–1998. Expected growth is 10 percent over the next three years. If the draft rules mentioned above are finally prescribed and effectively enforced and the much-awaited process of privatization and user-fee reforms begins, the growth rate in this sector could reach 20 percent by 2002.

Market Opportunities

At present, budget allocations and institutional funding support drive the municipal solid waste management market. Although many local governments are taking steps to augment resources for urban infrastructure development, burgeoning budget deficits restrict their ability to operate effectively. Consequently, overall growth in this sector in the near short term will be supported by financial institutions. Institutional funding in municipal solid waste management (establishing compost plants, waste-to-energy projects, bagasse-based co-generation) has grown from $0.52 million in 1994 to $25 million in 1999. All these projects have been designed on a full cost recovery basis. The fiscal incentives for developing the municipal solid waste management sector have played an important role in increasing the private sector interest. The increasing number of projects in these areas indicates improved market prospects. U.S. firms specializing in offering modern compost/anaerobic digestion/fuel pelletization can establish their market presence by taking advantage of the supportive framework through joint ventures with Indian partners.

The draft Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules (1999), if promulgated in their present form, could bring substantial market opportunities for composting/sanitary landfills. The proposed implementation schedule under the draft rules is shown in Table 6.4.

Competitive Analysis

Only seven to eight Indian firms are active in the municipal solid waste management market. Most of these firms provide either composting or waste-to-energy equipment and services.

Table 6.3 - Major Waste Projects Financed by Housing and Urban Development Corporation, 1997 - 1999

Cost (millions)
Loan Amount (millions)
Component of Solid Waste Management Financed
Year of Project Approval
Bagasse-based co-generation project at Satara, Maharashtra
Pollution control equipment
Power production from waste at Nagpur
Pre-processing equipment
Manure production equipment
Dual fuel engines
Bagasse-based co-generation project at Satara, Maharashtra
Pollution control equipment
Solid waste management for the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad
Equipment for storage, collection, and transportation
Solid waste management project for Cochin
Development of sanitary landfills
Incinerators for hospital waste
Solid waste management project for Calicut
Equipment for storage, collection, and transportation.
Compost plant (owned by the
O&M Corporation).
Solid waste management project for Imphal, Manipur
Collection and transportation equipment
Compost plant
Solid waste management project for Shillong
Compost plant
Sources: Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Ltd., and EQMS India Pvt., Ltd.
Table 6.4 - Implementation Schedule for the Proposed Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1999
Cities/Towns Population:
Compliance CriteriaMore than 1,000,000100,000 - 1,000,00050,000 - 100,000Less than 50,000
Establishment of suitable composting facilities to make use of wasteBy December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001
Monitoring of disposal facilities
established to meet standards
Once in 4 monthsOnce in 6 monthsOnce in a yearOnce in a year
Existing landfill sites to be improved per existing
provisions of the rules
By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001
Identification of landfill sites for future use By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001By December 31, 2001
Source: EQMS India Pvt., Ltd.

Several foreign firms have begun pursuing opportunities in the municipal solid waste management sector; specifically, in the composting and waste-to-energy sectors. While U.S. firms have the highest degree of recognition for their superiority in incineration technology, the technology may be less acceptable for Indian municipal solid waste as it has low calorific value (800-1,000 cal/kg) compared to North American municipal solid waste. The efforts of U.S. firms in the areas of compost/biomethanation may be more rewarding. U.S. competitors, mainly from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, have better availability of credit and funding facilities by their respective governments.

Municipal corporations are the single largest end users of municipal solid waste management services in India, followed by private entrepreneurs implementing municipal solid waste treatment and disposal projects on buy-own-operate or buy-own-operate transfer basis.

Industrial Solid Waste Management Market

The following section presents the status of industrial solid waste management and associated business opportunities. The industrial solid waste management referred to here is of non-hazardous industrial wastes, that is, wastes that are not covered under the Hazardous Wastes Management and Handling Rules, 1999.

Rapid industrialization has produced a tremendous increase in the generation of industrial solid waste. It is estimated that the current solid waste generation from the industrial sector is 94.5 million tons per year.

Given the prevalent level of technologies and operational practices in Indian industry, waste-generation intensities are quite high compared to North American or European firms.

A large quantity of industrial solid waste does find its way into municipal/uncontrolled landfill sites. In the absence of legislation in the area of industrial solid waste management, the level of demand is quite low and limited mainly to the thermal power sector. The demand for technologies and services in coal ash from thermal power stations is due mainly to conditions imposed on these plants by the Indian government when environmental clearance for operation is provided.

Still in the area of solid waste management is fly ash utilization. In India, coal ash generation has increased from 2 million tons to more than 70 million tons from 1947 to 1999. It is estimated that by 2002, more than 100 million tons of ash will be generated by coal based thermal power plants and 56,000 acres of land will be required for disposal of the ash. The disposal of ash in wet form not only requires huge areas but also causes environmental problems related to air and water pollution. Roughly 3 percent to 4 percent of the total fly ash generated by the power sector is being utilized so far, which has resulted in the accumulation of billions of tons of ash.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) issued a draft notification in May 1998 that promotes the utilization of fly ash in the manufacture of building material. The notification also forces existing and new thermal power plants to work out fly ash utilization plans to utilize 100 percent of fly ash within a stipulated time frame.

Utilization of fly ash can be divided into the following three categories:

1. High volume, low technology and low investment: In mine fills and road embankments
2. Medium volume, medium technology and medium investment: Portland Pozzolana Cement and fly ash-based bricks, cellular concrete blocks, fly ash aggregates, sintered fly ash, etc.
3. Low volume, high technology, and high investment: Extraction of minerals/alumina/magnetite/cenosphere, fire-resistant tiles/bricks, acid resistant tiles/bricks, light aggregates, etc.

An overview of the utilization market for coal ash follows:

Fly ash disposal systems in thermal power plants typically require 2 percent to 4 percent of the total project cost, which means India would be spending around $200 million each year during the ninth Five-Year Plan on fly ash disposal systems. Additionally, about $10 million to $20 million are spent annually on road transportation for ash dumping.

The fly ash utilization market for high-cost, high technology applications such as AAC blocks and fire resistant/acid resistant tiles is estimated at $2 billion, presuming that 20 percent of the ash generated would be utilized through this method. A 100 metric ton-per-day AAC block plant typically costs around $5 million.

Hazardous Waste Management Market

India’s hazardous waste management market was an estimated $102 million in 1999.

In addition to severe water and air pollution problems, rapid economic and industrial growth in India has produced a large increase in the generation of hazardous waste. Uncontrolled and non-scientific disposal of hazardous waste by industry is a serious environmental challenge. The MOEF has listed 18 categories of hazardous wastes under the Hazardous Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1989. According to the MOEF, the total generation of hazardous waste in those 18 categories is estimated at 9.3 million tons each year. (MOEF estimates are based on authorization applications submitted by generating units. These estimates are quite conservative given the fact that a large number of hazardous waste generating units are in the informal sector and have not applied for authorization to emit hazardous wastes. It is estimated that the actual quantity of hazardous waste is at least 40 percent more than the MOEF estimates.) Of the total hazardous waste generated, almost 52 percent finds its way into landfill sites/low-lying areas, which are not managedin a scientific manner. The level of infrastructure for hazardous waste treatment and disposal is grossly inadequate. The MOEF found that up to 1997 there were only two common scientifically designed and engineered landfills in the country. Both of these are in the state of Gujarat. There is a growing body of evidence of land and groundwater contamination caused by uncontrolled disposal of hazardous waste. The Bichhri area in Rajasthan is an example of a site where the MOEF recently approved a proposal submitted by a consortium of Indian and Canadian firms for executing a feasibility study for the remediation of the site, which is contaminated by toxic effluents from dye and dye stuff industries.

The geographical distribution of generation of hazardous waste in India is presented in Table 6.5 and the approximate classification of hazardous wastes generated in India is provided in Table 6.6.

The hazardous waste management market in India includes the following sub-sectors:
Table 6.5 - Geographical Distribution of Hazardous Waste Generation
(Based on MOEF Waste Authorization Applications)
Quantity (Tons per year)
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
West Bengal
Andhra Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir
Source: Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

The driving force for the hazardous waste management market in India is the Hazardous Wastes Management and Handling Rules, 1989. The key requirements of this legislation, the associated business opportunities, and the institutional structure in place for its enforcement, are in Table 6.7.
Table 6.6 - Classification of Hazardous Wastes Generated in India Share
Share (percent)
Sludge from chemical processing industries such as refineries, fertilizers, dye intermediates, and petrochemicals
Solids/sediments from engineering, electroplating, and metallurgical industries
Solids from processing industries such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, pulp and paper, and paints industries
Waste oils such as lubricants and coolant oils from engineering industries
Solids from electronic industries
Source: U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership, Industry Sector Analysis Report, Hazardous Waste Management in India (Washington, D.C.: October 1998).

After providing almost a year for inviting comments from all the stakeholders, the Hazardous Waste Management and Handling Amendment Rules were finalized in January 2000. These amendments are quite comprehensive and will require a great deal of compliance effort by government and industry. The key amendments in the revised rules and their bearing on the growth of the hazardous waste management market in India are summarized in Table 6.8.

The major end users of hazardous waste management services in India include the petrochemical, refineries, metallurgical, metal finishing, electroplating, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paint, dye and dye stuff, fertilizer, chemicals, electronic components, and general engineering industries. In addition, state industrial development corporations and state pollution control boards are the main buyers for conducting environmental impact assessment studies for identification of common hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal sites. Twenty-one states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh initiated a comprehensive program to identify prospective sites for common treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. Seventy-two sites have already been identified and are at different stages of development. Two common secured landfills commissioned in Gujarat include the provision of a single-tier liner, leachate collection, and monitoring systems.

The share of waste that can be disposed of by incineration is about 15 percent of total hazardous wastes. Large and medium-sized private sector firms in petrochemicals, refineries, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and automobile industries prefer installation of incinerators. About 100 incinerators have been installed in India. These incineration technologies are required to conform to the general emission standards prescribed under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and the MOEF guidelines for management and handling of hazardous wastes (currently under revision). A number of large and medium-sized private sector firms allow other firms to send their waste for incineration to their facilities.
Table 6.7 - Key Requirements and Business Opportunities of the Hazardous Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1989
Key Requirements
Business Opportunities
Enforcement Institutions
Authorization to be obtained by generating units for proper handling of hazardous wastesCollection, treatment, transport, and disposal technologies; 1 operation and maintenance services; monitoring and analysis equipment and servicesMinistry of Environment and Forests Central Pollution Control Board
State Pollution Control Boards
Pollution Control Committees
State governments to identify common treatment, storage, and disposal facilitiesHazardous waste management consulting servicesMinistry of Environment and Forests Central Pollution Control Board
State Pollution Control Boards
Pollution Control Committees
1. The state industrial development corporations, municipal agencies, and state transport action departments are key supporting organizations for identification of TSDF sites and transportation of hazardous waste.
Source: EQMS India Pvt., Ltd.
Table 6.8 - Proposed Amendments to Hazardous Waste Rules and Projected Impact on Market Opportunities
Key Proposed Amendments
Impact on Market Opportunities
Redefining schedules of hazardous wastesSignificant increase in quantity of industrial waste
requiring a “hazardous” classification. Expansion in the
demand for hazardous waste treatment, storage, disposal,
and consulting services
Introduction of a "manifest system" for controlling waste movementIncreased demand for handling and transportation equipment
In addition to state government, industry and their associations are also responsible for identification of common hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilitiesExpansion of efforts for identification of hazardous waste treatment and storage sites
Pollution control boards to be empowered to impose levies in case of violation of the prescribed provisionsOverall boost in demand for technologies in this sector due to strengthened enforcement
Waste generators are to obtain insurance policies for accidents which may occur because of hazardous waste handlingBoost in emerging insurance market for hazardous waste management
Source: EQMS India Pvt., Ltd.

Trends indicate that industry associations and the government are placing greater emphasis on developing common secured landfill facilities than on developing common incineration facilities in the near to medium term. These landfill sites, in the longer term, may be developed as integrated facilities. Thane-Belapur industry association in Mumbai is developing an integrated hazardous management facility at a total project cost of $2.38 million in three phases: (1) secured landfill, (2) physicochemical treatment facility, and (3) an incinerator. About 250 industrial units will benefit from this initiative.

Estimated Market Potential, Market Size, and Growth Prospects

Although the current hazardous waste management market is small, it is expanding. At 1997–1998 prices, the MOEF and expert analysts estimated the design and construction cost of a 25,000 to 30,000 tons-per-day engineered landfill at about $2 million. Given this estimate, the approximate market potential for secured landfill technologies is apparently $400 million, considering that about 50 percent (an MOEF estimate) of all hazardous waste is destined for secured landfill sites. The potential for physico-chemical and incineration technologies is estimated to be about $200 million (considering that 25 percent of the total hazardous waste will be treated through these technologies and the remaining 25 percent is recycled to other industry users).

The market size for 1997-1998 was about $45 million based on the sales receipts of firms active in this area. In the absence of manifest system requirements, there is virtually no demand for handling, collection, and transportation equipment, so they are not included in this estimate. This market is dominated by incineration technologies because most state governments are still in the process of identifying suitable sites. The demand for hazardous waste management technologies, equipment, and services will surely increase once these sites are notified. Since 1997-1998, the market has grown about 7 percent each year. This growth rate is expected to improve marginally in the next two years, until the hazardous waste sites are notified and the new proposed rules are effectively enforced.

Market Opportunities
There are vast opportunities in hazardous waste management, including technology, equipment, and services. Because the market is in its early stages of development, there are a number of gaps that offer strong potential for U.S. firms, especially considering their leadership position in this market. Here are seven of the most prominent technology gaps that could produce opportunities for U.S. firms.

1. Treatment technologies for: 2. Flexible membrane liners for secured landfills.
3. Collection, handling, and transportation equipment for the hazardous wastes.
4. Solidification and stabilization of hazardous wastes.
5. Biofilteration and oxidation technologies.
6. Incineration technologies primarily for paint sludge, tarry residues, and pesticides.
7. Advanced technologies such as plasma and hydrogenation.

Of the above, flexible membrane liners offer the greatest potential because no indigenous manufacturing capabilities exist in the country. Current needs are met by imports and by switching over other liner materials such as asphalt-based liners. At the domestic level, technological and manufacturing capabilities exist mainly in incineration.

Competitive Analysis

In view of the relatively small size of the hazardous waste management market, only a few domestic firms are active in it. Realizing future market prospects, however, a large number of domestic firms are pursuing collaborations with foreign firms. The most prevalent incineration technologies among Indian firms are:

Hardly any domestic firms are in the hazardous waste management field. Only two have developed incineration systems:
In addition to these two manufacturing firms, India has a well-established and capable core of engineering firms that can develop hazardous waste management products from prototypes developed by U.S. firms.

International Competition

Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom are all targeting India’s hazardous waste management sector. A few firms from these countries are already engaged in either preparing environmental impact assessment studies or supplying incineration systems for resource recovery. Major foreign firms that have supplied incineration systems to India include Nitettu Chemical Corporation (Japan) and Vicarb (France).

U.S. Market Position

India views the United States as the pioneer in the field of hazardous waste management. Although European countries are attempting to enter the Indian market, U.S. firms seem to be preferred.

One U.S. firm was awarded a contract to install an incineration plant at Reliance, a major petrochemical complex in India. Another U.S. firm has been successful in securing sizeable orders for bio-remediation and construction of secured landfills in the private sector. There is considerable scope for expanding the U.S. market share in India in the hazardous waste management sector.

Hospital Waste Management Market

India’s growing population and urbanization have produced considerable expansion of health services. Consequently, there has been a significant increase in the generation of hospital waste (see Table 6.9).

The total biomedical waste generation in 1998 in the country is estimated at 500 tons per day.

The growing magnitude of hospital waste has drawn serious attention from the public and judicial authorities in recent years. As a result, the Indian government decided to address the issue by enacting comprehensive legislation on hospital waste management and disposal in 1998. This development, coupled with rising private sector investment in the health care industry, is expected to boost the demand for hospital waste-management equipment and services. The hospital waste that is referred to as biomedical waste under law are those wastes that fall under schedule I of the Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1998, are shown in Table 6.10.

These rules apply to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, pathological laboratories, blood banks, and veterinary institutions.

Most of the biomedical waste generators cited above dispose their wastes to municipal/sanitary landfills. The enactment of the rules described in Table 6.10 will force these generators to adopt appropriate methods for safe disposal of waste. This will likely mean new business opportunities.

The Bio-Medical Management and Handling Rules, 1998, require the following:
Table 6.9 - Increase in Generated Waste from Health Care Services in India
Community Health Centers2,1862,5722,619
Primary Health Care Centers20,70121,91722,002
Hospitals Beds (total)834,650970,000*1,000,000*
* estimated
Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Table 6.10 - Categories of Biomedical Waste with Recommended Treatment/Disposal Methods
Human Anatomical Waste (Human tissue, organs, body parts)
Incineration1/deep burial2
Animal Waste (Animal tissue, organs, body parts, carcasses, bleeding parts, fluid blood and experimental animals used in research, waste generated by veterinary hospitals and colleges, and discharge from hospitals and animal houses)
Incineration1/deep burial2
Microbiology and Biotechnology Waste (Waste from laboratory cultures, stocks, or specimens of microorganisms, live or attenuated vaccines, human and animal cell cultures used in research, infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories, wastes from production of biological toxins, dishes, and devices used for transfer of cultures)
Local autoclaving/microwaving/incineration
Waste Sharps (Needles, syringes, scalpels, blades, and glass that may cause punctures and cuts. This include both used and unused sharps)
Disinfection (chemical treatment3autoclaving/microwaving)
Discarded Medicines and Cytotoxic Drugs (Waste made up of outdated, contaminated, and discarded medicines)
Incineration/destruction and drugs disposal in secured landfills
Solid Waste (Items contaminated with blood and body fluids, including cotton, dressings, soiled plaster casts, lines, bedding, and other material)
Incineration autoclaving/microwaving
Solid Waste (Wastes generated from laboratory, washing, cleaning, housekeeping and disinfecting activities)
Disinfection by chemical treatment, autoclaving/microwaving, and mutilation/shredding4
Liquid Waste (Waste generated from laboratory, washing, cleaning, housekeeping, and disinfecting activities)
Disinfection by chemical treatment and discharge into drains
Incineration Ash (Ash from incineration of any biomedical waste)
Disposal in municipal landfill
Chemical Waste (Chemicals used in the production of chemicals that are used in disinfection or insecticides)
Chemical treatment and discharge into drains for liquids and secured landfill for solids
1. There will be no chemical pre-treatment before incineration. Chlorinated plastics will not be incinerated.
2. Deep burial will be an option available only in towns with a population less than 500,000 and in rural areas.
3. Chemical treatment using at least 1 percent hypochlorite solution or any other equivalent chemical reagent. It must be ensured
that chemical treatment accomplishes disinfection.
4. Mutilation/shredding must be such as to prevent unauthorized reuse.
Source: EQMS India Pvt., Ltd.

These rules are likely to create increased demand for consulting services for training and awareness, hospital waste management, feasibility studies and design, operation and maintenance of treatment and disposal systems, and for packing and transportation equipment. Along with the MOEF, state governments form Hospital Waste Management Authorities for the enforcement of these rules. The State Pollution Control Boards have primary responsibility with regard to these authorities.

Estimated Market Potential, Market Size, and Growth Prospects

In the absence of a regulatory driver, the demand for goods and services in the hospital waste management area were stagnant in India. However, the Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1999, and rising private sector investment in health services (the Hinduja, Reliance, Apollo, Mallaya, and Deccan groups are establishing state-of-the-art medical facilities in the country) is gradually building demand. Considering the pent-up demand for incineration/autoclave/microwave facilities in existing hospitals, the total market potential in 1997-1998 is estimated to be around $125 million at current price levels. The market size of hospital waste treatment and disposal facilities is estimated at $15 million based on the approximate revenue of firms supplying these systems. Current investments are coming from large private sector firms, which are consistently trying to improve their health care facilities and waste management practices. The market is expected to grow 100 percent in the next two years given effective enforcement of the new rules. The Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1998, prescribe the schedule for installation of waste treatment facilities for different categories of the hospitals.

Market Opportunities

Because the market is in its infancy, only a few domestic firms having limited capabilities (mainly manufacturing incinerators) have been active in this area. These firms have developed reasonable capabilities in incineration technology. About 50 to 70 incinerators ranging from 15 kilograms per hour to 250 kilograms per hour have been installed in various hospitals. New rules have opened up the demand for incinerators, autoclave, microwave, and shredder systems, in addition to storage, collection, packaging, and handling systems. Judicial pressure continues to play an important role in building and sustaining demand.

Competitive Analysis

A few firms that specialize in incineration technology have dominated the market. The major local manufacturers of incinerators are Thermax, Ltd., Paramount Pollution Control, ACE, Ltd., CR Microtech, Mc Cleeland, and Aireff DeTox, Ltd. At the time of this writing, no firms in India offer integrated solutions for hospital waste management. Given growing market prospects, domestic and foreign manufacturers and suppliers are seeking environmental collaborations and import arrangements. The market is considered highly receptive to U.S. compared to European technologies, mainly because of U.S. experience in the field, which has produced proven technologies. Environmental firms from Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany are likely to expand their market presence and may force stiff competition for U.S. firms. The U.S. market share is estimated to be approximately 15 percent.

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